Saturday, June 30, 2007
There aren't any specific details as of yet, other than the fact that the talks are considered very serious.
This would make the Dallas Mavericks (who won 67 games without KG) potentially one of the best teams to step on the court in NBA history.
Check back later for more updates as this story unfolds
I am still getting used to the time difference out here. I really like the fact that I gained two hours but I really don't like ending my night by watching the Dodgers and Padres play each other. Needless to say, it was a good game at the end. The Dodgers were down 7-2 going into the bottom of the 8th. After a couple key hits and a balk by Chris Young, the Dodgers were going into the 9th only down 7-5. They got one more run before Luis Gonzalez came to bat. Now, we all remember him for his World Series bloop hit over Jeter's head to beat the Yankees a couple years ago...but what else? He went through 2 seasons of being a feared power hitter and now what? Well I'll tell you what I've seen since I've been out in LA.
He has become an incredibly timid hitter. When we went to the Dodgers/Angels game he had a 2-2 count with one on and 2 outs. He watched a fastball go by and then walked to the dugout like he knew he should have swung at it. Last night was almost the same case, but he swung at a pitch he shouldn't have and grounded out to end the game. He is quickly entering into the "VH1 realm" as I like to call it.
What do I mean by that? Well, Gonzo is quickly becoming one of those players that could be featured on "One-hit wonders of baseball". He's a very overpaid and dissappointing player to watch.
On the other hand, big Barry Bonds hit HR number 750 last night. Only 6 more to go before he gets his ever-famous asterisk next to his record. For the record, I don't beleive there should be one. Sure, all the tell tale signs of steroid use are there but he's never admitted it. I think that it will be one of those cases where you don't date a girl because you hear that she's been with a lot of other guys but then find out that it was a lie and she really was clean.
Today was somewhat of a tangent, but it's hard to focus with all this sun and ocean waves.
Enjoy your weekend.
Thursday, June 28, 2007
Well apparently Cook is taken by the Sixers, but he is going to be traded to the Heat for Jason Smith, who was taken 20th. Looks like the Heat are looking for a guy to play alongside Wade right away, much like Jason Kapono last year, who is a free agent. Smith again will probably be brought along slowly, much like he would have with the Heat.
#22 Charlotte Bobcats - Jared Dudley
Michael Jordan didn't pick a Tarheel! There actually is only one left, Reyshawn Terryand he is a consensus second rounder. He did pick a guy that pestered the Tarheels though. Dudley was the ACC player of the year, and that is a HUGE accomplishment in such a talented conference. I'm not sure how he will fit in on the Bobcats, but he is a very talented player.
#23 New York Knicks - Wilson Chandler
This pick was only met with half boos, so I guess Isiah Thomas didn't screw up the pick too horribly. I don't know much about him, I just know that Renaldo Balkman pick last year was met with 400 times more boos.
#24 Portland Trailblazers via Phoenix Suns - Rudy Fernandez
The Suns don't really need anymore pieces, they just need David Stern to not screw them over, so they let the "other" Microsoft guy, owner Paul Allen, buy this pick. Obtaining another pick was kind of predictable, after the previous Knicks trade. Rudy Fernandez is another foreign player taken, and might not be released from his Spanish team right away, but could in the future be a great backcourt pair with Brandon Roy
#25 Utah Jazz - Morris Almond
I don't know much about Almond, but he is a college senior, so he is more prepared than many people in the draft. He is going to a good situation in Utah, who easily have a playoff team in the West.
#26 Houston Rockets - Aaron Brooks
Brooks is another college senior, ready for the NBA. Unfortunately for Brooks, he is now the 3rd point guard on the roster behind Rafer Alston and former Wolves player Mike James. Brooks will be getting some playing time, but at this time they aren't sure how much due to Alston and James.
#27 Detroit Pistons - Aaron Afflalo
Another guard taken by the Pistons. There now seems to be a logjam in the Pistons backcourt, meaning they might be planning to move Flip Murray during the offseason. Either that, or the Pistons will be trading Afflalo or Stuckey, although the Pistons are really high on Stuckey so I don't see that happening.
#28 San Antonio Spurs - Tiago Splitter
He has been eligible the last few drafts but has pulled his name out a few years straight now, and apparently would have been taken much higher last year. The Spurs are good with foreign players, so expect Splitter to flourish also. Splitter, a 7 footer, most likely won't join the Spurs until the 08-09 season due to a buyout clause in his current contract.
#29 Phoenix Suns - Alando Tucker
This makes sense for the Suns, since this is another guy that can play their fast break style of basketball. He was one of the best players in college basketball last year, and gets drafted to a top 3 team in the league. Depending on offseason trades, Tucker could end up getting more playing time than he would with the current roster.
And the final first round pick-
#30 Philadelphia 76ers - Petteri Koponen
I know nothing of him. He has got to be pretty happy that he was taken in the first round though, since he traveled to New York to hear his name taken. Apparently he won't be ready to play in the NBA for a while, since he has limited experience.
First Round notes -
- 3 Buckeyes and 3 Gators taken.
- Two major trades, Zach Randolph moving to the Knicks, and Ray Allen to the Celtics. Not surprisingly, these trades involved the team that took Oden and Durant, and no doubt want these guys to be the stars on their new respective teams. In Portland's case, this opens up last years first round pick, LaMarcus Aldridge, to start alongside Oden. In Seattle's case, it opens up scoring for Durant, Jeff Green, and Rashard Lewis.
- A few players who were supposed to be taken in the first round slipped, and I couldn't be more happy that one of those players is Josh McRoberts.
- First round means a 3 year guaranteed deal, but a few players were taken that either won't be able to join their respective teams this year, or won't be ready until their second or third year in the league. The Wolves got a player who will contribute all 3 years of his guaranteed contract, as Brewer was one of the most NBA ready prospects in the draft. I do think the Wolves will need to move a guard or Trenton Hassell to make room for Brewer to play and make an impact. Hassell and Brewer's styles are too similar to have a spot for both of them on the team. Brewer is a much better player than Hassell though, and eventually his offense will become as good as his defense.
*if KG stays.
Much needed. Kind of a "duh" pick.
#12 Philadelphia 76ers - Thaddeus Young
The first of 3 first round picks for the Sixers, they took the younger guy with more potential. Another freshman taken in the first round, the Sixers took a guy that they more than likely will have to develop. Julian Wright and Al Thornton are slipping a bit, which is unfortunate. The Sixers tried to trade this pick unsuccessfully earlier to get the number 6 pick. They still could make a trade since they have 2 first round selections remaining at 21 and 30.
#13 New Orleans Hornets - Julian Wright
I think a better pick would have been Thornton, since Thornton is ready to help out Chris Paul right away. Wright is another guy that needs polishing, but will probably be a good player. By the way, I hate the term "high basketball IQ." I just want Jay Bilas to stop talking. He invented terms like these just so he could get a job at ESPN.
#14 L.A. Clippers - Al Thornton
It would have been a shame had he slipped out of the lottery, but luckily he got taken by the Clips. He doesn't make sense in terms of their needs, but he was the best player left. He will be able to contribute right away, since he and Law IV are the two 4-year players that have been taken so far. Nick Young would have made more sense since the Clips have an aging Sam Cassell and an injured Shawn Livingston, but Thornton was a good pick.
#15 Detroit Pistons - Rodney Stuckey
He played at the smallest college out of anyone drafted thus far (Eastern Washington), but is deserving of being picked this high. The Pistons were really high on this guy, and they expect him to help next season right away. He should be a primary backup for the Piston and apparently has a game comparable to Dwayne Wade.
#16 Washington Wizards - Nick Young
It was only a matter of time before this guy was taken. Great scorer, needs to work on his defense a bit, but will be a good compliment to Arenas next year.
The Knicks have agreed to acquire Zach Randolph from the Portland Trailblazers for Steve Francis and Channing Frye. The Trailblazers seem to be opening up room in the frontcourt for Greg Oden and LaMarcus Aldridge. The Knicks would also receive Dan Dickau and Fred Jones.
#17 New Jersey Nets - Sean Williams
Hmm interesting pick, since Sean Williams was in rehab and kicked off the Boston College team for smoking marijuana. He's a big guy, a spot the Nets needed to fill, but he obviously has had some problems in his life and is kind of a risky pick with his history.
#18 Golden State Warriors - Marco Belinelli
While the Warriors are one of the up and coming teams in the league, this pick doesn't quite make sense to me. I would have thought they would pick a guy that could contribute right away, but as a foreign player, he probably won't. Belinelli helped the Italian team that defeated Team USA by dropping 25 on them. The Italian league apparently is a better league than college basketball, but all foreign picks are generally risky.
#19 L.A. Lakers - Javaris Crittenton
Another freshman taken. The Lakers are a team in disarray, and Crittenton isn't going to help anything. Kobe will just end up complaining about Javaris too, and then go cry, and then quit basketball for baseball, and then go have another incident in Colorado. This guy is such a drama queen. The Lakers have done everything for this guy, he wanted to be by himself, and now he is complaining that he doesn't have enough help. Best case scenario for Crittenton...Kobe does leave, and Crittenton steps in to become the man.
#20 Philadelphia 76ers via Miami Heat - Jason Smith
The Heat don't need much except to keep Wade and O'Neal healthy, so the pick here is smart. Picking up a big guy for when O'Neal or Mourning leave is what they needed most, and that is what they get. They won't need to use him right away, so they'll be able to develop him the next couple of years, and the Heat hope he will become a great 7 foot PF.
No doubt about this pick. I still can't believe that both of these guys are going to teams in the Timberwolves conference. Oden looks like 45 years old usually, but can actually pull off around 25 years old tonight, even though the kids only 19. He is going to be a great player, I don't care what people's gripes are with him. He's only lost 17 games since junior high, that is crazy. Going to a lottery team, he will FORCE them to win, and he will do anything to make it happen.
#2 Seattle Sonics - Kevin Durant
The Sonics had the easiest pick in the draft, just take the other guy. I was wondering why it was taking so long, but according to Andy Katz they just made a trade that I had reported earlier. Ray Allen to Boston Celtics for Delonte West, Wally, and the number 5 pick (which they will reportedly use on Jeff Green).
#3 Atlanta Hawks - Al Horford
This was the first real question in the draft. Many people thought that Al Horford was the clear #3 pick in this draft, while others had Mike Conley. The Hawks picked Horford, all but assuring that Conley will go next, and that they will be taking a PG with the 11 pick. Horford is their 3rd straight big man taken, following Sheldon Williams and Marvin Williams. They NEED a PG, but they apparently couldn't pass up Horford. Nice to see Corey Brewer cheering for him.
#4 Memphis Grizzlies - Mike Conley Jr.
Quickest pick so far in the draft, and it was all but assured with the makeup of the Grizzlies team. He is the third freshman taken so far, and the third player taken from last year's championship matchup.
#5 Seattle Sonics via Boston Celtics - Jeff Green
It's always unfortunate when a guy has to go up there wearing the wrong cap, just KNOWING he's been traded. He was taken by the Celtics but is being shipped to the Sonics. Green at least knew he had been traded, so he didn't say anything dumb like "I can't wait to go play for Boston and with Paul Pierce." This Sonics team will be fun to watch next year, considering they will have Green, Durant, and Rashard Lewis. The next pick will affect the subsequent 5 picks, since Yi Jianlian has stated he won't play for the Bucks, but that is who Milwaukee wants.
#6 Milwaukee Bucks - Yi Jianlian
They took him, knowing that he isn't thrilled with playing there...interesting. He was the best player left. Man he looks unhappy. Also, how did David Stern end up as the commissioner? The guy seems to be getting shorter every year. This guy looks interesting...lets hope he is more Yao Ming than Wang Zhizhi.
Minnesota picks next and I would like to see them take the best player left, Brandan Wright. Unfortunately he didn't work out for the Wolves, and there is virtually no chance they will take him. As long as they don't take Hawes I'm fine with the pick. Is it too late for Roy Hibbert to re-enter the draft? Haha I expect a Florida player to be taken with the Wolves pick.
#7 Minnesota Timberwolves - Corey Brewer
I don't know how to feel about this pick. The guy is good, but we still need a big man. I just don't understand how year in and year out we can't address that. Also, we have way too many guards, with Foye, Davis, McCants, Hudson, and Jaric, along with Hassell at one of Brewer's positions. Granted, Hudson and Jaric won't be playing much, and McCants will probably be relegated to being the first guy off the bench. Foye and Davis are starting, so I don't know where that leaves Brewer to play. Noah would have been the smarter pick here since we actually need a center to take pressure off of Garnett. The Wolves will make room for him, but I still don't feel like he fits in with the Wolves as well as a center would have. Now 4 of the 7 players drafted are from the national championship game, with Noah still left.
#8 Charlotte Bobcats - Brandan Wright
Michael Jordan decided not to golf today and actually showed up for the draft, albeit he didn't really want to pick anyone. He had been looking to deal the pick for a veteran all day. It is possible that a trade could still happen, but for now they picked Wright. Thats 3 out of the last 4 first round players Jordan has taken coming from UNC, all to play for a Charlotte, North Carolina team. Although Wright was the best player left, it seems like Jordan is just looking for the players to draw fans at this point, so that has led to Raymond Felton, Sean May, and now Brandan Wright becoming Bobcats, all local college players.
#9 Chicago Bulls - Joakim Noah
Noah was taken in the place where many people thought Spencer Hawes would go. The Bulls didn't think he would fall this far, but were happy he did. They were looking center all the way, and no doubt got the guy they needed in Noah. I just can't help but hate the hair...I'm sorry. This no doubt means that Hawes will fall, since most of the next few teams don't need a center. The Kings want a replacement player for Ron Artest with the next pick, so look for a G/F to be taken.
#10 Sacramento Kings - Spencer Hawes
Wow I did not see the Kings taking Hawes here. The King had wanted Jeff Green but he was gone with the 5 pick. They were also hoping that Wright would fall to them, but it didn't happen. I just am not a huge fan of scoring centers who can't rebound after enduring a year of Mark Blount with the Wolves, but thats exactly what Hawes is. If he is going to do well in the NBA he will need to start rebounding. Unlike with most of the other picks, where it seems like the picks make sense for each of their respective teams, Hawes I don't think will help out the Kings right away because he doesn't fit in right.
The final mock draft at NBAdraft.net has the Wolves taking Joakim Noah.
First thing they discussed with the draft coverage was the KG trade, and it was reported that no trade will occur with Kevin Garnett. In other news, former Wally Sczcerbiak could have a new team in a proposed trade with the Sonics that also involves Ray Allen, Delonte West, and the number 5 pick.
Joakim Noah looks likes he's prepared to be selected by the WNBA with his hairdo. Maybe he can play for the Lynx too if the Wolves take him.
Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE/Getty Images
Update: So they have already reversed what they said earlier, and apparently the Wolves and the WARRIORS are talking trade. Who knows anymore. Whatever the team, it looks like KG definitely won't be suiting up in the Wolves colors next year
That was the Twins final home game before the All-Star break, and they also have no days off before the All-Star break. They will be bringing up a pitcher for the Detroit series this weekend. Thats all for now in Twins news.
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
This is disappointing because the number one pick should be a surprise, I think. The NBA is turning into the NFL (minus the PacMan Jones' and Cincinatti Bengals. Hey...at least Ron Artest keeps it on the court) with this "let's tell the whole world who we're picking so that no one will watch the draft anymore". This is KILLING the mystery of the draft. I hate it.
Anyway...tomorrow's the draft. There are many more story lines running through the rivers of the NBA. Whether KG will go to the Suns...whether the Hawks will do anything right...and does Danny Ainge really think that a man named "Yi" will turn the Celtics around? I love it all.
7 ET/6 Central on ESPN tomorrow.
All in all, probably the best deal the Timberwolves could hope for. They will be able to build around 3 lottery picks who will probably all have an instant impact. At #3, they could grab Al Horford who would immediately be a presence down low and a rebounding machine. At #7, they will most likely have the possibility of taking Georgetown PF Jeff Green, Florida PF Joakim Noah, UNC SF Brandan Wright and Florida SG/SF Corey Brewer, who would provide instant impact defense. At #11, they would take any of the leftovers from the possibilities at #7, or Washington C Spencer Hawes, Florida State scoring machine SF Al Thornton, or Kansas PF Julian Wright.
If this trade goes down, the rebuilding process would be off to a lightning fast start for the dwindling franchise. The acquisition of any 3 of the previous stated players will hopefully make Minnesota fans forget about Garnett very quickly
Where will Michael Floyd go to college? To those asking, you might not get an answer for some time. The Cretin Derham-Hall wide receiver, a potential All-American, likely will have the highest profile of any player in the state during the season. Floyd is ranked No. 52 among the nation's top 100 senior prospects by Rivals.com. Floyd recently narrowed down his possible choices to 7 schools. The 7 include
In Minnesota, we have come to know June 28th as “great…now the whole world thinks we’re idiots” day. For most teams, it is a day of hope and a new beginning. Some how, McHale usually puts that feeling in you like he kicked you in the gut and then stole your wallet to take your sister out on a date to never call her back again. Kevin McHale has made screwing up drafts a science. Let’s take a quick look at some first and second round draft blunders by McHale.
1996: Trades for Stephon Marbury…could have had Steve Nash, Jermaine O’Neal or could have kept Ray Allen
1999: Draft Louis Bullock in the second round at 42…Manu “can’t say on my feet for more than thirty seconds” Ginobili goes 57th to the Spurs. Guess who made his respective team?
2003: First year since 1999 the Wolves have a first round pick. This is an exact conversation between McHale and Taylor… (Well…maybe not exact…but close I’m sure)
McHale: 26th pick?....I heard about this kid from London who only played High School Ball
Taylor: Kevin…we don’t need another High School-er…why not go for a seasoned collegiate player?
McHale: well sure…but he’s got great up-side…plus his vertical is 42 inches!!!
Taylor: Can he shoot, rebound, dribble…or even tie his shoes?
McHale: ……his vertical is 42 inches!
Missed : Josh Howard (ACC player of the year, great fit on the Mavs now), Leo Barbosa, Kyle Korver
Here are my predictions for the 2007 draft (Due to the fact that the Wolves and Hawks are still in the NBA…my draft may not be completely accurate)
1. Portland : Greg Oden/C
Has the potential to be one of the best big men in the history of the game. Blazers want another Bill Walton and Oden has the potential to be a force in the growing West.
2. Seattle : Kevin Durant/SF
Resembles another Kevin Garnett. Versatile for his size and can play inside or outside. Not a big banger but will the strength coaches in the NBA, he will grow. Could save the Sonics franchise from moving and could turn things around.
3. Atlanta : Mike Conley/G
Best guard in the draft. Showed that he could carry the load without Oden on the floor. He has to work on his shooting somewhat, but should make a great guard in the league. Hawks need a guard…but may be tempted to take Al Horford with this pick. It’s Atlanta…they might draft Courtney Paris (http://sooner.nmn.speedera.net/pics5/0/VO/VOOCWJZCNRBQJYQ.20060315203800.jpg) if they have the chance.
4. Memphis : Al Horford/F-C
Behind Durant and Oden, Horford is the most complete player in this year’s draft. The only reason that this doesn’t work is if Atlanta takes him with the third pick. In that case, taking Mike Conley should be a no brainer for the sad sad Grizzlies.
5. Boston : Corey Brewer/G-F
Improved his lottery chances with great NCAA tournament play. A solid 2 or 3 that can shoot and slash to the inside. Good personality and a good head on his shoulders. This has the potential to change if Boston trades this pick to another team for a veteran. I see it happening, but for the sake of space and time, let’s just assume that no trade occurs.
6. Milwaukee : Brandan Wright/F
Great up-side to Wright. Played at a big time school at a big time level this year. Size for his position is a concern but with the same thing going for Durant, he can bulk up. Only draw back is that Milwaukee needs size right away, and Wright is not it. This pick can go about 80 different ways.
7. Minnesota : Yi Janlian/C / Joakim Noah/F-C
I see this pick going either way as well. It really depends on what Boston does. If Boston trades for KG like many are saying is going to happen, look for Yi to drop a little bit. If Boston keeps the pick, I see Brewer first but Yi is a close second. Minnesota brought in Noah for a workout and Noah has plenty of upside. Great energy and could help KG on the boards. Unfortunately, KG doesn’t need help on the boards. He needs help in the Win column and I don’t see Noah being that help.
8. Charlotte: Joakim Noah/F-C
Would give good help down low to Okafor. For a franchise that has struggled greatly, Noah could help get fans in the seats.
9. Chicago : Spencer Hawes/C
Energetic big man with a lot of energy. Fits in well with the Bulls right now; young, energetic and fills their big man needs. Wallace rebounds, but is only 6’9”. Hawes can rebound and be a force in the small east.
10. Sacramento : Tiago Splitter/C
Kings need size and the big Brazilian bruiser could help immediately. The only way this pick doesn’t happen is if Artest steals the draft card and changes it to his name along with all of the artists on his music label.
11. Atlanta : Al Thornton/F
With the Hawks getting their PG need at # 3, they look here for quickness and size. Thornton, at only 6’8” plays bigger and is a great inside/outside player. Will compliment Joe Johnson, Conley and Shelden Williams. Look for the Hawks to win at least 31 games this year (which only puts them 3 games out of an 8 spot in the playoffs)
12. Philadelphia : Julian Wright/ F-C
Had a solid year at KU. One of the best and most versatile players in the Big 12, playing at a historical school. Only downside is that he played the role of Houdini too many times at KU. Needs to show up consistently in the NBA.
13. New Orleans : Jeff Green/ F
Great year next to Julius “Dr.” Hibbert at Georgetown. A very nice compliment to a team on the rise in the West. Philly could take Green at 12, but NBA sources say that Philly likes Wright’s upside a little bit more than Green’s.
14. Clippers : Thaddeus Young/ F / Nick Young/ G / Acie Law IV/ G
This can go with either of these three because the Clippers need everything but the kitchen sink right now. Reasons to draft all three…
Thaddeus Young : Great young talent. Almost too good to pass up at this spot. I expect the Clippers to take him at this spot.
Nick Young : One of the most athletic players in the draft and a great guard…this youtube clip ought to show you why…. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IdTh1RPIVAU
Acie Law IV: Best player in the Big 12 this year not named Kevin Durant. After seeing him single-handedly beat KU this year (a great moment that did not go without its fair share of pinches from a certain someone) I was sold.
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
In just over four months, a new era of basketball will start at the
Monday, June 25, 2007
- KG trade talks continue, this time with a proposed trade to the Los Angeles Lakers. While I wouldn't mind Kobe Bryant shutting up about his situation, since KG has handled the exact same situation with much more class, I don't want to see KG in a Lakers uniform. Not only that, but in the reported 4-team deal, Jermaine O'Neal, Andrew Bynum, and Lamar Odom all switch teams, but none would end up on the Wolves. The Wolves would be receiving "young players and draft picks." Indiana and Boston are the other two teams in the trade. Indiana doesn't have a first round pick this year, and Boston's is fifth and L.A.'s is 19. Young players and draft picks are not enough for KG, since Kevin McHale will develop the players poorly, and screw up the selections. The best reported deal so far is any one in which Amare Stoudemire ends up in a Wolves uni.
- Speaking of uniforms, in hopes of turning around their "worst franchise in the league" status, the Atlanta Hawks have changed logos, jerseys, and colors for next season. While I like the new color scheme, and the logo is the same (just with the new colors), the new jersey is ridiculous. The thing has a collar on the front and the back, and does the stupid alternate logo on the back of jersey idea. The lettering looks sharp, but the side panels are a disaster. There will probably be more on this over at Uni-Watch tomorrow.
- Tank Johnson was released today by the Chicago Bears. Seriously? Pacman Jones made it longer than Tank? Unlike Pacman, Johnson has actually served time for the crimes he has committed, so it was only a matter of time before he screwed up again (which he did). I'd say this is good news for the Vikings, but the Bears still have Brian "Vitamin Water" Urlacher, so they stand no chance.
- The Twins are playing the Toronto Blue Jays this week, and actually dropped the first game of the series 7-5 tonight. They managed to score 5 runs against former Cy Young winner Roy Halladay. One of the goals of this series is to avoid a celebration for Frank Thomas, who is sitting at 499 career home runs. Plus, if I was Thomas, I wouldn't want my career milestone to be acheived at the Metrodome.
- Chauncey Billups opted out of his contract with Detroit. Over all the years McHale has been GM, this is probably the one guard he should have offered a long term deal after his last season with the Wolves. After screwing that up, he freaked out the next few seasons, locking up horrible guards like Mike James, Troy Hudson, and Marko Jaric. The Wolves have struggled to find a capable starting point guard since, but hope that Randy Foye can fill that role this year. Billups is expected to try and re-sign with the Pistons.
- Takeru Kobayashi may have to pull out of Nathan's Coney Island Hot Dog Eating Contest next week on the 4th of July. He claims to have an arthritic jaw which hinders him from eating. While this may seem logical, what I think seems even MORE logical is him not wanting to get shown up. In the past, Kobayashi has had virtually no competition in this contest, winning the last 6 years, this year a competitor named Joey Chestnut is prepared to defeat him. Chesnut, who narrowly lost last year, set the world record for hot dogs eaten with 59.5 at a contest in Arizona, but Kobayashi wasn't there. Kobayashi is listed as "day to day" with his condition. If he shows up, this could potentially be the most exciting 12 minutes of competitive eating the world has ever seen.
That's it for the Monday Night Run-down, but stay tuned for Courtland's post tomorrow.
There were some great stories from around the sports world this weekend.
- Ken Griffey Jr. hits two homeruns in his Safeco finale in Seattle. Raising even more questions as to whether the Reds are still thinking about trading him. I think that the Reds got a first hand example of what Griffey could do to a former team. He, at the same time, passed Mark McGwire on the career home run list for 7th.
- Former MLB releiver Rod Beck passed away in his Phoenix home yesterday. Beck will always be remembered for his solid relief appearances. I will always remember him as resembling John "Blackout" Gatling in Little Big League.
- Interleague play in the MLB came to an end last night with a series sweep 5-0 win for the Tigers over the Braves. The Marlins 105-81 record for Interleague play is still tops for any NL team. The world also saw Johan Santana hit his first career triple. I am a little worried because, with Morneau still being in the hospital, I have a striking feeling that we may see Santana batting 5th this week in Morneau's place.
- Court records show that Olympic sprinter Marion Jones is very close to broke after all of her recent court battles...for some reason I feel that court battles were not the reason...but the cost of food for..well...you'll see
- Roger Clemens came in for a relief role yesterday in the Yankees 7-2 loss to the Giants. Giving up 5 hits and not really helping the Yankees at all. Again proving that the Yankees have paid too much money for a job that Kyle Lohse could do for much cheaper.
- The Oregon Beavers repeated as National Champs of College Baseball with a 9-3 victory over the UNC Tar-Heels. Only 365 days until everyone has the same thought "Oh yeah...that was on tonight...oh well"
Have a great Monday and keep checking here for your sports updates
Sunday, June 24, 2007
- Santana, who struck out Paul LoDuca (who flipped out yesterday) in the 9th inning Friday for his first strikeout of the game, started a little earlier today. Santana struck out two hitters in the first inning of today's game. He has 5 strikeouts through 3 innings of work.
- Joe Mauer flashed some power, with his second home run of the season in the first inning.
- Santana, obviously not thrilled with the lack of run support in some of his outings this season, hit an RBI triple in the second inning, and later scored on a Jason Bartlett sacrifice fly. As a result, Santana has an early lead to work with.
- Bartlett, hitting in the leadoff spot today, has looked great the last two games, with 5 RBI the last two days. Luis Castillo has the day off, so Bartlett slid into his spot in the batting order.
- Another baserunning mistake by the Twins...well it was Santana, so it barely counts.
- Cuddy and Gardy just got chucked. That puts Gardy one ejection closer to the John McGraw/Bobby Cox record. The worst part of this news is that Lew "I suck" Ford is now playing right field and hitting 4th.
After watching Byung-Hyun Kim struggle in today's start, I can't help but think about Kim in the World Series a few years back with the Arizona Diamondbacks. His struggles in that game have affected him in a way that he has never truly been able to shake. Baseball, more than any sport, is a mental game. For pitchers, one swing of the bat can affect you for the rest of your career, as evidenced by Kim, and more recently, once formidable closer Brad Lidge. Honestly, if you get beaten by Albert Pujols, especially in a pressure situation, it should be no reason to hang your head. Lidge still hasn't recovered from that Pujols home run in the playoffs.
Big news around campus here...apparently Pamela Anderson just hangs around campus A LOT. Supposedly she runs on the big track right outside of the dorm that we are housed in. Needless to say, there is a good chance that if some of the campers find this out...I might have some actual camping out by the track.
Other big news...Jon Kitna said today that the Lions will win 10+ games this year. Really Jon?...I mean, I'm the first person to be all for saying crazy things because if you don't accomplish what you say...everyone figured you were an idiot anyway. But if you do accomplish it, then you look like Nostradamus. Anyway, the last thing this team needs is someone to sound like Roy Williams did last year when he said the Lions were the best 2-11 team...or something of the sorts. Either way, look for the Lions to finish in a place that has them looking up at some much better...well better as it is relative to them...teams.
Enjoy your Sunday and make sure to watch Oregon State take their second national title against UNC tonight.
Saturday, June 23, 2007
Justin Morneau is still in the hospital.
Jason Kubel and Jeff Cirillo are both having good games...good to see them producing.
Bartlett has 3 RBI so far.
Bert Blyleven's head looks funny shaved.
Thats about it so far, I'll update as the game goes on.
Update: No cycle for Hunter, but another good start for Carlos Silva and another win for the Twins.
- Barry Bonds smashed home-run number 749 against the Yankees. He looked pretty happy after crossing homeplate. Do you think that A-Rod told him he loved him when rounding third?
- Dice-K and Maddux went head to head in San Diego last night. Red Sox won 2-1 but it was surprising since Manny Ramirez spent the whole game looking for money to fall onto the field again.
- The NHL draft happened...who knew?
-The Minnesota Lynx raised their record to 4-10...a big deal considering they started 0-9.
- Rumors are that the Wolves and Suns are talking a trade. Great...now we get to see the Suns beat the Wolves by 45 instead of the usual 20.
Watch game one of the College World Series tonight. You don't have dementia....it is the same two teams from last year's final (Oregon State and North Carolina). In a battle in nature...I'm going to have to take the versatile beaver over that tar heeled ram with a bad attitude. It should make for a good game though. You know, a game between these same two schools in any other sport might yeild ratings that would rival the NBA Finals.
Enjoy your weekend and keep checking back here for updates throughout the day!
Friday, June 22, 2007
This does not look good for the Twins. Morneau is a tough guy, and outweighed Olivo by 10 pounds, but he got stood-up on that play. He was visibly jarred on the field, and my first reaction was that he could have easily broken a rib or his collarbone. While a broken bone is one of the more serious injuries he could have sustained, coughing up blood is very serious. The Twins offense, already lacking WITH Morneau in the lineup, would be downright anemic without him in it. If Morneau needs to go on the DL, that could drop the Twins out of contention rather quickly. To make matters worse, after tying the game on the play and getting their MVP knocked out of the game, former setup man Juan Rincon allowed the go-ahead home run to '06 NL Rookie of the Year Hanley Ramirez, allowing the Marlins to win 5-4. Rincon couldn't manage to pick up the team after Morneau put his body on the line to score one run. This is a huge blow for the Twins if it proves to be a DL-worthy injury.
Update - Morneau has a bruised lung, according to Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star Tribune. CT scans were negative, and there were no broken bones. He is done for the rest of the weekend, but as for a DL stint, it is unknown so far. Let's hope for the best for MVP
Gilles is a 6'3" center who will definitely provide the Wild with some size on the front line. He is actually the nephew of former NHL player Clark Gilles. So there is NHL in his blood.
The surprise of the night was the Wild not trading Manny Fernandez. They've made it clear that Fernandez will most likely not be around anymore after signing Niklas Backstrom to a $6.2 millon dollar deal this offseason. We'll see what the Wild can do with Fernandez before the season starts.
In other words, history indicates that it is highly unlikely that Terry Ryan pulls the trigger on a deadline deal this year. This year, even more so than last year, the Twins NEED to make a deal. Last year, everything clicked in the second half of the year. Punto kept up his average, and everyone else on the team picked up their respective paces to put up a great second half and win the division. This season the Twins have struggled offensively at times, even failing to win three brilliant Carlos Silva starts 1-0. The most glaring holes in the offense are easily at left field, 3B and DH. While I confidently expect Jason Kubel to pick it up - he is hitting the ball too well to have his average and power numbers down - Nick Punto and Lew Ford have been dreadful offensively (and for Ford, defensively also), and Jason Tyner's lack of power make him nearly useless. With the Twins only 6.5 games back, they need production out of the aforementioned positions. Now, working under the assumption that Kubel will retain a starting spot, and seeing that Punto has already been benched in favor of a more productive Jeff Cirillo, the Twins are one impact bat away from a solid lineup. Here are a few players the Twins should be looking to acquire before the deadline:
- Adam Dunn - The Cincinnati Reds are shopping him, and then Twins should be looking to get him. As a left fielder and huge power hitter, with 20 home runs on the season, he could easily fill the Twins DH spot, and be a great power hitter after our 1-5 hitters. Although he would be a good fit for what the Twins need, he would be a free agent after the season (his option for next year is voided by trade), Ryan has never been one to take a flyer on a player for half a season.
- Ty Wigginton - At 29, one of the older players on the Tampa Bay roster, Wigginton lost his starting spot this year due to B.J. Upton winning the second base spot, and the Rays signing of Akinori Iwamura at 3B left him jobless. Wigginton has more power than most of the Twins lineup, and would be capable at 3rd or DH, and is able to play LF also. Although he, like Dunn, would be a half season player, he is more signable in the off-season. He is a better fit for the Twins in the sense he can fit any of the positions that the Twins need a productive player out of.
- Aaron Boone - Recently mentioned as a potential trade partner of the Twins, the Marlins wouldn't mind parting with Boone. He is a backup first/third baseman and is hitting .286 with 5 homers this season. Although it seems like this could help the Twins, I see it as more of a step sideways. Cirillo is capable of the mediocre power, average, and defense that Boone displays, and also fills in at first base occasionally. Also, don't forget the Twins had a failed experiment with the last Boone brother they tried.
- Mike Lowell - He has been mentioned in passing as tradebait for the Twins. This deal would only be possible if the Red Sox traded for Mark Teixeira. Without that happening, there is absolutely no chance of obtaining him. He would probably be the best potential bat for the Twins to obtain in terms of a mix of average and power, but I just don't see it happening.
At this time, no one other than Glen Taylor and Kevin McHale thought that this kid from Mauldin, SC was worth the risk. Although he was named High School player of the year and McDonalds All-American game MVP, with a draft filled with several proven collegiate players (i.e. Jerry Stackhouse, Joe Smith, Antonio McDyess, Rasheed Wallace) it seemed that with the 5th pick that the Wolves would/should have taken a player who had been through the college level. The Wolves took a huge risk in taking a player straight from high school, the first time it had happened since 1975. Who was that player? Darryl “Chocolate Thunder” Dawkins. Exactly 20 years later the Timberwolves take a chance on another 6’11” high school student with freak-ish abilities and with the exact same pick, coincidence?...I think not.
This was the legacy and mysticism that surrounded Garnett’s career from the beginning. Unfortunately, until he wins a title, he will only be remembered for one thing. From 1997 until 2004, the Timberwolves could not make it past the first round of the NBA playoffs. Every year, Garnett was criticized by the legends that he idolized the most. Who can forget when Magic Johnson was on TNT and more or less called out KG by saying that he was being too un-selfish. This killed Kevin to hear his idol say this. That summer, KG worked harder than he ever had. Unlike previous years, the Timberwolves had done some hard work as well. With the signings of veterans Latrell Sprewell and Sam Cassell, the Timberwolves had the most seasoned team since their conception in 1989. It proved a great move as the Wolves went 58-24 and made it to the Western Conference Finals but lost to the Lakers in 5. The 2004-2005 season started with the Wolves being an early favorite for the NBA title after keeping the core of their team. Unfortunately, the team fell apart. Cassell and Sprewell had contract disputes and longtime coach Flip Saunders was fired midseason to be replaced by Kevin McHale.
Since then, the story has been the same. Garnett gets older and the Wolves get younger. He has been in the league now for 13 years and even though he is only 31 years old…his prime years are coming and going quickly. With many trade rumors lately surrounding KG, the Timberwolves and Garnett NEED to part ways.
The Timberwolves and Garnett must face it, he is getting older and they aren’t getting better. With so many years of being beat on, working hard and having to carry the team, we must look at Garnett’s age in dog years. I believe you have to multiply by 6, this would make Garnett…about 186 years old. Now, obviously this is a bit of a stretch but you really have to put in perspective the stress that has been put upon Garnett since he’s been in the league. If the Timberwolves plan on winning in the future they need to get something in return. Teams around the league know that he is getting older and if the Wolves want any value for Garnett, now is the time. Statistically, with the exception of his 2004 MVP season, Garnett’s numbers have slid somewhat. Still one of the most consistent and dominant players in the league, you can’t help but notice that he is getting aged. The ’06-07 season saw Garnett’s shooting percentage dip to its lowest total since the ’01-02 season (.476/.470). The only statistic that has gotten better with time has been his rebounding average (averaging an even 13.0 RPG since 2004). Yes he has intangibles, but the statistics don’t lie. No team is going to trade away their young nucleus for an aging player with maybe 2 or 3 good years left in him. If this franchise feels it has any future in the NBA win column, now is the time to trade.
But the NBA also needs this to happen. Who are some players that come to mind when one thinks of greatness in the NBA. Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Michael Jordan, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. What do these players all have in common? They all were part of championship teams. The NBA lives on the legacies of its greatest players. It would be a blow to the NBA to have a player as great as Garnett to have the career he has had and end it with no titles. Imagine Bird or Magic with no titles. No one would be talking about Magic’s great passing skills or Bird’s automatic shot without the sentence “He was one of the best who played without ever getting a title”. Unless Garnett is traded to a title contending team (i.e. NOT THE CELTICS), that phrase is all that we will here for years to come, “Kevin Garnett, he was one of the best who played without ever getting that title”. It will eat away at Garnett and it will hurt the NBA as well, to have a player of his caliber never hoist the Larry O’Brien trophy.
The Wolves also owe this to Kevin. Trading Garnett to a contender would be the utmost showing of respect that they could do. The amount of trust and respect that Garnett has put into Taylor and McHale is innumerable. I actually calculated what McHale and Taylor could give Garnett in return for the amount of respect he has put in them. Along with a trade (to a title contender) they would have to give him a lifetime supply of Chipotle (with the options of no beans), a chance at the Governorship of MN for 2011, a shot on American Idol and a stipulation that when he is retired he can be the new host of Price is Right. Throughout the 7 years of losing in the first round of the playoffs, Garnett was asked if he’d want to be traded. It was the same response every year, “I don’t just jump ship, and I’ve committed myself and here for the long haul.” Year in and year out, Garnett put faith into McHale and Taylor and they let him down. Out of the 12 years that he’s been with the Wolves, only one year have they respected him enough to put together a team that could get him the championship. They’ve abused Garnett’s loyalty. If the McHale and Taylor have any shred of dignity and respect for Garnett, 2006-2007 will have been Garnett’s last of a great career in Minnesota.
Many will argue, mostly in Minnesota, that Garnett should not be traded. I, just as much as the next person, want to see Garnett ride into the Minnesota sunset with the Larry O’Brien trophy in hand. Unfortunately, the sun may have already set for Garnett in Minnesota.
I will be getting some help from my buddy Owen since I am working at a camp this summer. Look for his posts about the Twins and anything else under the Minnesota sun.
So please...sit back...enjoy our posts and feel free to comment.